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Question about freelancing

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by bigpern23, Aug 6, 2008.

  1. bigpern23

    bigpern23 Well-Known Member

    For all of you regular freelance writers out there, how do you get credentialed to events if you're not already specifically working for a newspaper?

    I'd like to do some freelance work this year and I figure I'm more likely to get assignments if I'm already credentialed. Obviously, it depends on the type of event, but will many places credential you ahead of time if you have no specific affiliation?

    Is it best to just get in touch with newspapers and ask them to set up the credentials for you?
  2. zebracoy

    zebracoy Guest

    It is a very, very rare occasion when I can get a credential to a game without any specific assignment ahead of time.

    That being said, I have done it when knowing the SIDs or other media representatives well.

    Can't hurt to call them and state your case.
  3. bigpern23

    bigpern23 Well-Known Member

    So do you usually get in touch with a sports editor at an out of town paper and have them line up the credentials?
  4. zebracoy

    zebracoy Guest

    I've almost always had a specific assignment.

    On the occasions that I've been able to report a story before pitching it to a paper, I just explain to the relations folks, "Hey, I've got this idea for a story on so-and-so, I'd like to apply for a credential with the intent of selling it to Paper No. 1, Paper No. 2, Paper No. 3. This is who I work for full-time, I can give you a sample of my work if need be, anything else, let me know."

    Typically, it works. When they don't go for it, I usually drop it, though on one occasion, I did know a writer who covers the team that was able to throw in a good word for me.
  5. da man

    da man Well-Known Member

    Only rarely can you expect to get a credential without an assignment already in the bag. Most organizations require the SE to make the credential request in that situation.

    However, if you have a good relationship with the SID or PR person -- and your track record makes them pretty certain you will get an assignment for the event -- he or she might be willing to issue something in advance. For several years I've had a team PR person issue me credentials for the entire season ahead of time knowing I'll work almost all the home games (I think I've missed one each season for the past three). Just remember that's not the norm.
  6. Italian_Stallion

    Italian_Stallion Active Member

    If you have an idea for a story, pitch it to the paper. Then, if they give you the green light, go get your credential. I almost never write a story without already having an assignment. I can't imagine why you would. But, if you really have to pick that option, I'm afraid you won't be getting credentials for major events. The Dew Tour skateboard people might give you a credential, but you're not going to have the same luck with an MLB team.
  7. forever_town

    forever_town Well-Known Member

    I also think getting the assignment first is vital. I'd think you'd have to have a stellar relationship with a school's sports information department to get a credential pre-assignment. Especially if the department isn't BLOG! friendly.
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